Ian Brown (sailor)

Ian Brown and Glen Bourke winning the Flying Dutchman 1980 Olympic Selection Regatta then 4th in the 1982 FD World Championship.

Ian Warwick Brown (born 4 April 1954) is an Australian competitive sailor and coach who won an Olympic bronze medal in 1976 in the 470 class. Brown was the youngest ever Australian Olympic sailing medalist until Elise Rechichi won gold in 2008. Brown was selected to represent Australia as a competitor in the 1980 Olympic Games for the Flying Dutchman Class. He represented Australia as a substitute competitor at the 1984 Olympic Games. He was an Olympic sailing coach at the 1988 Olympic Games for the Star and Flying Dutchman disciplines. Brown was a substitute competitor and coach at the 1992 Olympic Games. He worked with Great Britain (Glenn Charles), New Zealand (Rod Davis), Bermuda (Peter Bromby), Bahamas(Mark Holowesko) and Australian (Colin Beashel), Star Class Olympic representatives on the 1996 Olympic site just prior to Olympic racing (accreditation was with the Bermudan Olympic Sailing during the 1996 racing.) Brown was invited back to take charge of winning medals across all sailing disciplines for Sailing Australia and the National Sporting systems at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games.

As well as his parents Brown credits Bruce Hewish of Freshwater Sails, Hugh Treharne of Blue Peter Sails, and Patrick Mayes, a notable tax law accountant, as adding defining development abilities to himself and career. The later was a financial benefactor enabling Brown to compete successfully in the Etchells class, often beating many of the best sailboat racers in the world such as Dennis Conner, Colin Beashel, David Curtis, John Bertrand, Iain Murray and Peter Gilmore.

Beashel, Giles and Uechtritz together with their Star Class coach Brown and his team John Dorling and World Contender Champion Barry Watson achieve 1st and 2nd overall at the 1993 Etchells Worlds.

Brown's first title was an Australian Championship win in the Flying Ant Class in 1968 at Perth. He was 5th in interdominion Cherub class in 1969 and a Moth class world junior champion in 1970 before going on to win the World senior Moth Class Championship in 1972/3 at 18 years old. Ian designed, built and raced several "skiff" Moth designs. Ian's win was the first ever "skiff" moth to win a World Championship in the southern hemisphere, contested at Napier, New Zealand. He backed this up with a second place at Stockholm, Sweden in 1974. In 1975 he was 2nd in the Australian OK dinghy championships and later 3rd place in the Okinawa, Japan, Moth Worlds before beginning training in the 470 class with Ian Ruff. Early in 1976, after four months training they won both the Australian title and Olympic 470 selection regattas to secure Ian's first Olympian status. He, with crew and equipment owner Martin Burke, was 5th overall in the 1977 World 505 Class championships, La Rochelle, France. By 1980 he had won selection in the Flying Dutchman discipline for the Olympic Games, after which he began his sailmaking business. He was 4th Overall in the 1982 Flying Dutchman Class World Championships, Geelong, Australia. Later in the 1980s Ian was asked and spent a sailing season racing the 16ft skiff Buckle Toyota achieving a podium placing in the NSW championships at Yarra Bay. He Was 2nd in the 1993 Etchells Class World Championship, Brisbane, Australia. He raced many other sailboats to State and National titles wins. His most recent National Title wins are in the Farr 40 as tactician 2005, stepping in to skipper four heats with Martin Burke for Ian McCrossin and his team to win a Dragon Class Prince Philip Cup on Sydney Harbour, and two National titles in the SB20 class. By arrangement Ian bought and crewed the SB20, giving the skipper role to Nathan Outteridge. They won the 2011 Nationals, King of Docklands and Geelong Week SB20 regattas in the year Nathan won a moth worlds. Nathan then went on to win Olympic 49er Gold and Silver medals in the following Olympiads. Interestingly Ian and Nathan put in a rushed SB20 charterboat effort with Tom Slingsby, who boasted his first attempt at being a forwardhand, during the 2011 SB20 World Championships at Torquay UK. For winning the 2013 Nationals Ian went back to skippering: "The pre-regatta favourite, Brown and his crew of twin brothers Patrick Conway (bow & tactics) and Alex (mainsheet & tactics) and Scott Cotton (fourth hand) sailed a classy series with few errors. Their final scorecard of 19 points, a whopping 32.5 points from the nearest threat, proved an unclimbable mountain." (http://www.mysailing.com.au/news/ian-brown-wins-sb20-national-championship-in-melbourne#cEzGHX6BhXTPBDKS.99)

Ian began coaching for class association, State and the National Sailing associations in 1974. He began Olympic coaching on request from Colin Beashel for his Star Class efforts. Ian best coaching was each of three World 49er Championship wins by Chris Nicholson (two with Daniel Phillips and one with Ed Smyth). In one of these years he also coached the Star Class World Championship win by Colin Beashel and David Giles in Slovenia. A personal highlight during this time was finding a wealthy owner/crew for Colin's involvement and win, and Ian Brown’s second place at the 1993 World Etchells Championships. Both were using a full set of sails from Ian's own sail loft. They worked collaboratively in training, and warming up just before each world championship race. Ian also worked for Olympic medalist, Americas Cup tactician and Round the World Race winner John Kostecki (with crew Tom Olsen) for a very close 2nd place at 1996 USA Star Class Olympic Games selection regatta. He also coached numerous Olympic classes to international regatta podium placings.

Over the fourteen years of existence, the sails and his design work from Ian Brown's sail loft, One Design & Skiff Sails Pty Ltd, had world championship wins in the 505 Class, 420 Class, Moth Class, 14ft Skiff, Flying 15, and Etchell Classes.

Ian Brown on right, invited and made his system work well for Victor Kovalenko. Victor achieved both Mens and Womens Olympic 470 Gold Medals. Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.

In 1997 Ian was selected as the Yachting Australia Head Coach charged to develop and implement an Australian Olympic Sailing development program that would win as many sailing Olympic Medals as possible at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games (John Boultbee reference document). Ian and his administrator reported to an independent board made up from senior sport funding executives from the Australian Olympic Committee Craig Phillips, the Australian Institute of Sport Geoff Strang, the NSW institute of Sport Michael Scott and, Chief executive of Yachting Australia Phillip Jones(Geoff Strang reference document). At a sailing funding level, the plan submitted by Ian and his administrator achieved the then, by far, biggest ever sailing based "Special Initiatives" Grant from the Australian Olympic Committee which allowed far greater depth of sailing coaching and equipment projects than had ever been conducted. At a home Games all Olympic Sailing disciplines are represented. His program, at that time, produced the best ever Australian medal haul for Sailing at an Olympic Games as well as in the lead up world championship regattas. It included World Championship wins and podium placings in the former most weak of Australian Olympic sailing disciplines. Two of the prior lesser performing disciplines achieved Olympic Gold medals. He was responsible for inviting and achieving both Trisha Leahy Hong Kong's sailboarding Gold Medallist's Sports psychologist and Ukrainian gold medal winning coach Victor Kovalenko (The Medal Maker) onto his team and Victor to move to Australia. Due to the increasing number of female athletes involved in Olympic sailing disciplines Ian spent considerable time discussing coaching with the females involved and with their endorsement asked Dutch born coach Erik Stibbe onto his program. Erik was coach to the Laser discipline and Michael Blackburn's Olympic Bronze medal, as well as the Europe Class and its representative(Trisha Leahy personal reference). Ian was also responsible for the first ever National Olympic Sailing Training Base at HMAS Penguin (approved by Brigadier Adrian d'Hage), and the first ever full-time Olympic sailing coaching programs across the Olympic squad. While overseas, he met with numerous country Olympic sailing program managers and formed a Danish Australian cooperative agreement, subsequently signed off between the Danish and Australian Olympic Committees. This shared some of their sailing resources when teams in Europe or in Australia. This agreement brought the potential Australian Sailing Olympians for the first time to practice dormitory living together as at the Olympic Games, and receive sport science appraisals while in Europe. His program was recongised by the Australian Institute of Sport for delivering a sports science program that was the most improved of all Australian Olympic Sports and was asked and gave a seminar to all Olympic sports head coaches or managers at Canberra on his planning and this international cooperation. As a result of the success of Ian's program, its athletes' performances and staff, Yachting Australia was awarded a position as one of the exclusive Olympic sports within the Australian Institute of Sport.


Re Strategic Plan. " I am please to see this amount of planning and the thought going into it. It makes it a lot easier to support sailing." John Boultbee, Director of Australian Institute of Sport.

"He also successfully initiated and implemented a unique, cohesive, strategic, and positive evaluation and review system." Trisha Leahy, Senior Psychologist, Australian Institute of Sport.

"Ian did a remarkable job in keeping the program focussed on both long and short tern goals in the lead up to the Olympics. Our results in the sport were the best ever at Olympic Level."

Director of Sport Management Division, Australian Institute of Sport and part of management team oversighting the funding and implementation of Ian's designed Australian Olympic Sailing program.

Personally Ian was awarded an International Olympic Committee Certificate of Merit for his efforts and very high level collaborations in regard of the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games.

Ian Brown, with UK naval architecture university student Elliot Wells, International 505 racing in Barcelona August 2019

After more than a decade of medical issues including a problematic spine operation, prostate cancer and two years of frozen shoulder Ian competed in 4 International 505 regattas in Europe and Denmark during July and August 2019. His first traditional dinghy sailing and racing regatta after 35 years was at Riva Del Garda with expert German crew Holger Jess. Most memorable moment during this tour was a renewed friendship with world famous Spanish Olympic sailing coach Paul Maes, and being told that at the 1976 Olympic Games, when Brown achieved Bronze, Paul had coached the Spanish 470 silver medallist Antonio Gorostegui.

Ian has spent considerable time racing with or assisting other younger sailing competitors such as Glenn Bourke (later becoming multiple world Laser Class champion and Olympian); Malcolm Page (later becoming Australia's first ever sailing dual Olympic Gold medallist); offered his own crewing and sports boat sailing equipment to Nathan Outteridge (later became Olympic Gold and Silver Medallist plus Americas cup helmsman); offered his laser class equipment to Australian Olympic representative Sarah Blank for pre Games use in Europe.

Currently Ian has casual consulting/mentor, for elite sailboat racing skills and life, relationships with a number of young emerging elite sailing athletes.

Ian Brown
Personal information
Born4 April 1954 (1954-04-04) (age 65) [1]

Ian is an honours qualified shipwright, has a professional directorship diploma (Fellow level) with Australian Institute of Company Directors, and Project Management master's degree from the engineering faculty of Sydney University.

Ian has been awarded numerous NSW Govt achievement medals, was the treasurer of the NSW Olympians Club for 9 years, a club captain at Seaforth Moth Sailing Club and a Rear Commodore at Hunters Hill Sailing Club.

He won his Olympic bronze medal in the 470 class at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal. The sailing was held at Kingston on Lake Ontario. His forwardhand and equipment owner was Ian Ruff.[2]

Ian is married with three children and four grandchildren.



  1. ^ 470 The Great Book, Alain Corcuff and Nicolas Guichet. Pages 46, 97, 143, 182. June 2015.
  2. ^ Evans, Hilary; Gjerde, Arild; Heijmans, Jeroen; Mallon, Bill. "Ian Brown". Olympics at Sports-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Archived from the original on 21 January 2011. Retrieved 12 February 2011.
  3. ^ australiansailingteam.com.au "Olympians"
  • etchells.org/racing/champions
  • www.moth-sailing.org "World Champions"

Non free rationale from personal References from John Boultbee, Trisha Leahy and Geoff Strang, all of the Australian Institute of Sport..